Meet Tim Townsend, new President of the PCA Foundation
Tim was elected to serve as the President of the PCA Foundation in 2019. Born in Michigan, he graduated from Bob Jones University in 1987 with a degree in accounting and earned a J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1990. After serving as a law clerk for the late Wendell A. Miles of the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan for a year following graduation, he served with the law firm of Wendell Bird in Atlanta, representing primarily tax-exempt organizations. He later served as a founding principal of Myers, Townsend and McKee. Prior to joining the Foundation,Tim served for thirteen years as general counsel and member of the executive team of the National Christian Foundation where he helped maintain legal compliance and protect its tax-exempt status while providing counsel regarding complex gifts.
Q & A with Tim Townsend
1. Tell us how you came to know Christ and important moments in your growth as a disciple.
I professed faith in Christ as a child, but struggled with questions and doubts about the sincerity and effectiveness of my sinner’s prayer. It was in college that I left off trying to evaluate my childhood profession, and simply asked myself, as Jesus Christ asked Martha, “Do you believe this – do you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and trust that His sacrificial death is your only, sure hope of salvation?” I was able to answer, “Yes,” and felt a great sense of gratitude and “solid joy.”
I cherish as a profound gift of God my introduction to Reformed theology and the Reformed approach to reading and understanding the central message of the Scriptures. They make me humble and grateful to God for His all-encompassing grace. I have frequently taught the Bible, to adults, youth, and children, and my greatest growth has derived from the intense study I do in preparation. Currently, I am studying Romans with my daughter, a freshman in college, and understanding and being moved by it more than I ever have. I am a sinner who rests on the Gospel, the power of God for salvation, and looks to Christ to transform my mind every day.
2. What attracted you to the opportunity to serve at the PCA Foundation?
I am a churchman. I love my local church, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Atlanta. I love the PCA as a denomination and am eager to exercise gifts acquired through my peculiarly relevant education and experience to advance its interests through the work of the foundation. I have a natural affinity for my brothers and sisters in the PCA, who I presume make up a majority although not all of the donors to the foundation, and am eager also to help them achieve charitable giving goals. It seems that in God’s good providence, most (maybe all) Christian work requires money. Redirecting money from government uses to private Christian charity — in accordance with the law and as Congress has expressly permitted — is a very good thing, I think, and for some of us, fun.
3. What are some hobbies or activities you enjoy in your spare time?
I train for and participate in triathlons. (“Race” is not really the right word.) I love music, and listen mostly to classical and choral. I do something akin to singing in Westminster’s chancel choir. I read pretty widely, from classic novels to philosophy and theology. I bravely confess down here in SEC country that I still hail the victors valiant. And I love to spend time with my wife, Rosalie, and together we love just to talk and laugh with our above-average children, and to play with what appears to be the smartest grandson in the world.
4. How can people pray for you and your family as you assume this new position?
Pray along with us for the advance of God’s kingdom through the work of His church, the gathering and perfecting of the saints. Pray for the advance and manifestation of His kingdom in particular through the work of the PCA Foundation. For Rosalie and me I think there is no prayer better than Paul’s for the Ephesians: that we would be strengthened with power through God’s Spirit in our inner beings, that Christ would live in us through faith, that we would know deep down the expanse of the love of Christ, that we would be filled with all the fullness of God. We are truly grateful for such prayers actually offered in faith: they are glory to God and true wealth to us.
Endorsements for Tim Townsend
“I couldn’t be more pleased to know that I will be passing the baton to Tim. I have known of his reputation within the PCA and of his accomplishments for many years, and it was for these reasons suggested that the Search Committee consider him for being the Foundation’s next President. The Foundation is well poised for future growth and ministry, and I am confident that Tim is well equipped to lead the Foundation to greater heights in the years ahead. I pray that he will have as much enjoyment and fulfillment in serving the Lord and the PCA as I have had over these past 21 years.”
Randy Stair – President, PCA Foundation
“I benefited from Tim’s legal expertise as an outside attorney for NCF. I was so impressed, I hired him to become our inside counsel. The entire organization has depended on Tim and his team of eleven NCF attorneys to help us make good decisions. He maintains very high standards for himself and has always been generous and gracious in his personal interactions.”
Terry Parker – Co-founder, National Christian Foundation
“Tim is not just an elder in our church, he’s also a personal friend. I can say with confidence that he’s highly respected by the members and elders of our church. I’ve watched him help our church make important decisions, and he also helped our presbytery navigate a difficult judicial case. I’m excited for Tim, the PCA Foundation, and the denomination as he takes on this new role.”
Aaron Messner – Senior Minister, Westminster Presbyterian Church (Atlanta, Georgia)
“I know Tim personally and professionally. We serve as fellow elders at Westminster PCA, and we’ve retained him as outside counsel during my time at RBI. Tim is a highly respected, sought-after attorney because of his depth of legal knowledge, patient and solid legal mind, and all-around good sense when making difficult decisions. But beyond his business and legal expertise, he is a believer and is theologically astute. It is no secret that Tim loves Christ and loves serving Him and His kingdom.”
Chet Lilly – Ruling Elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Chief Operating Officer, PCA Retirement and Benefits
“Tim is a perfect candidate because his depth of knowledge and grasp of how foundations operate. Even better, he brings the quality of character desired in a leader. In his previous work, he worked with a large foundation where he evaluated complex gifts. He knows what works and all the problems involved in every type of donation. From the business and legal training aspect of his preparation for the president’s role at PCAF, it simply could not be better.”
Gary Campbell – President, PCA Retirement and Benefits
“I’ve worked closely with Tim for over 7 years as his primary associate. I’m going to miss working alongside him. He is a true expert on tax-exempt organization and is very respected by all his colleagues. I believe Tim will prove to be a valuable leader for the PCA Foundation. He is deeply committed to the presbyterian form of church government and the principles of reformed theology.”
Greg Mauldin – Associate Counsel, National Christian Foundation
“Tim is a fine Christian. He is thoughtful, and I can recommend him without qualification. He is a persuader rather than one who would impose his view on others. His spiritual maturity is exceptional and his knowledge of the Bible and scriptural principles is first rate. He and his wife Rosalie have been active in the life of our church and its ministries for many years.”
John White – Ruling Elder, Westminster Presbyterian Church; Member, Standing Judicial Commission